Charles Schwab Challenge Round 4 Betting Tips: Using Strokes Gained to Find an Edge
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa.
Well, if you missed the PGA Tour like I did, you’re probably downright giddy thinking about Sunday. Here are the players within one shot of the lead: Xander Schauffele, Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas, Branden Grace, Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth. Just three shots off are Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau.
I mean, come on.
We have a lot to go over in terms of golfers and betting value, so let’s jump right into it.
Golfers to Buy, Fade in Sunday’s Final Round
Xander, the current outright leader at -13, looked great Saturday. He actually lost strokes putting and around the green but was awesome off-the-tee and with his approach shots, gaining an incredible 3.61 strokes tee-to-green. He dominated the field in that metric, which is a good sign for him as he goes for his sixth professional victory.
Among the six players either with or within one shot of the lead, Spieth and Woodland actually lost strokes tee-to-green. Woodland was especially weird Saturday, gaining 3.45 strokes with his putter, which was pretty much the sole reason he shot 4-under on the day to get to second place. Given his history putting — mediocre — he’s the easiest fade of the group.
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The top golfers in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green Saturday were Xander, Corey Conners, Charles Howell III, Chesson Hadley, Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa. Conners is an interesting name: He was unusually solid prior to the weekend with his putter — not a strength — but then turned things around today with his irons, gaining a field-high 2.74 strokes with his approach.
Overall on the tournament, Morikawa is only slightly behind Xander in overall Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, and while he hasn’t gotten the buzz due to the fact that 1) he’s young and new and 2) hasn’t really grabbed the lead like Xander, Rose or Harold Varner III, he’s been perhaps the most consistent golfer this week.
This course is scorable: If any of these guys within a stroke or two of the lead shoots 5-under, they’ll likely win. Rory, Bryson and that crew will likely need to go 7-under to win, which 1) is very tough and 2) not even guaranteed to win.
As a result, I think I’m going to be looking at the golfers -11 or better, which includes the golfers listed above plus Daniel Berger and HV3. Among those, I think Morikawa is the best value at +750; he should be more in the 5/1 range like we see Justin Thomas.
I actually think the best value is likely on top-five odds; they’re pretty depressed since the top of the tournament is so bunched up. But if you fade the hot putters — Woodland and Grace especially — then someone like Morikawa at +100 to bank a top-five doesn’t seem too bad.
Or perhaps even better: Morikawa is +105 at DraftKings in a head-to-head matchup against Woodland. There’s the play, in my opinion.
Strokes Gained Data for Every Player in Round 3
(Note: The graph below is interactive. Click/hover to see data. You may need to zoom [control and + sign] to see better.)